The Shepherdstown Rotary Club has presented its 2013 Vocational Service Award to Shepherdstown Middle School band teacher Chadsley (Chad) Conant.
The award is given each fall to an outstanding community member who embodies values and principles that exemplify Rotary values, especially service above self and a commitment to high ethical standards.
The presentation was made at the Club's Nov. 19 weekly breakfast meeting at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown.
A 1978 Cum Laude graduate of Middlebury College, Conant considered a career in foreign-language translation but eventually moved to Kearneysville with her husband, Tom, and began to raise a family.
While her children were young, she played bassoon in Shepherdstown's Millbrook Orchestra and became a music tutor. She decided she had found her calling and went back to school to earn a teaching certificate (and later a Master's degree) in Music from Shepherd University.
She taught band at Shepherdstown Elementary School and other elementary schools in Jefferson County from 1997 to 2008, and then assumed her current position at Shepherdstown Middle School.
Since she came to the Middle School, the School's Concert and Jazz bands have excelled. Both bands have received "Superior" ratings at every festival they have attended, the Concert band has been selected as the best in the state once, and the jazz band has received that honor twice.
Ms. Conant herself has received many honors, including a Distinguished Graduate Award in Professionalism from Shepherd University in 2010, the West Virginia Band Director of the Year Award in 2012, and the Shepherdstown Middle School Teacher of the Year Award in 2013.
Accepting the award, Ms. Conant said her bands' accomplishments would not have been possible without the strong support the band program has received from the community.